Mapping lithuanians examining russian imperial ethnic cartography 1840s 1880s
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Mapping Lithuanians: Examining Russian Imperial Ethnic Cartography (1840s-1880s). Vytautas Petronis, PhD candidate in History, South Stockholm University-College [email protected] Ethnic cartography in the Russian Empire. Cartography:

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Mapping lithuanians examining russian imperial ethnic cartography 1840s 1880s

Mapping Lithuanians: Examining Russian Imperial Ethnic Cartography (1840s-1880s)

Vytautas Petronis,

PhD candidate in History, South Stockholm University-College

[email protected]


Ethnic cartography in the russian empire
Ethnic cartography Cartography in the Russian Empire

  • Cartography:

  • The first (Petrine) instrumental land survey of imperial Russia (1720-1744);

  • The General Land Survey (1765- ~1840s);

    - Notes in the “economical journals” (ekonomicheskie zhurnaly):

    - Collecting economic, geographical and other information about the surveyed territories;


Ethnic cartography in the russian empire1
Ethnic cartography Cartography in the Russian Empire

  • Ethnography:

  • First ethnographical investigations began during the 18th century;

  • In the first half of the nineteenth century numerous “learned societies” appeared; they greatly expanded the understanding of what and where the Russian Empire was, and who inhabited its space;

  • A major turning point in the scientific ethnographic research occurred after the establishment of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society (IRGS) in 1845;


Afa ik 1842
Šafařik (1842) Cartography

The Latvian and Lithuanian ethno-linguistic territories (a fragment from Šafařik’s map in Slovanský národopis (1842))


Koeppen 1848 1851
Koeppen (1848; 1851) Cartography

The Lithuanian ethno-linguistic territory around the city of Vil’na (fragments from Koeppen’s Etnograficheskii atlas Evropeiskoi Rossii (1848))


Koeppen 1848 18511
Koeppen (1848; 1851) Cartography

The Lithuanian and Latvian ethnic territory (fragment from Koeppen’s Etnograficheskaia Karta Evropeiskoi Rossii (1851))


Rittikh 1862 1864
Rittikh (1862 (1864)) Cartography

The Lithuanian inhabited territory in Rittikh’s Atlas narodonaseleniia Zapadno-Russkogo kraia po veroispovedaniiam (1864)


Erckert 1863
Erckert (1863) Cartography

Alterations of the ethnic composition in the North Western provinces

found in the French (on the left) and Russian (on the right)


Erckert 18631
Erckert (1863) Cartography

The Latvian and Lithuanian inhabited territories

(fragment from Erckert’s Atlas Ethnographique des provinces habitées

en totalité ou en partie par des Polonais (1863))


Rittikh 1875
Rittikh (1875) Cartography

The Lithuanian ethnic territory on Rittikh’s

Etnograficheskaia karta Evropeiskoi Rossii (1875 - fragment)


Concluding remarks
Concluding remarks Cartography

  • Šafařik’s work was the first modern ethno-linguistic map, which beside the Slavs also indicated the territories of other ethnic groups;

  • The imperial ethnic cartographers were predominantly of German origin;

  • Erckert’s atlases were illustrated possibilities of ideological manipulation in ethnic cartography;

  • Lithuanian ethnic territory was gradually shrinking. It was reflected in the maps. The political situation and ideology if the time allowed scientists interpreting multiethnic and multilingual territories in a “politically correct way”;

  • The Lithuanian National Movement, paradoxically enough, greatly relied upon the ideological ethno-cartographic works (Erckert and partially Rittikh (1862)), because they depicted the biggest Lithuanian territory.


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